Spinach ravioli

IMG_0579Everyone loves filled pasta, especially when it is made with tender hand-rolled pasta and is freshly cooked.  There are lots of different fillings we could use but I have chosen the very popular Basic Spinach Cheese Filling we use in the Spinach Triangles.  If you haven’t got the time to make the pasta you can use wonton/dumpling wrappers, available from Asian supermarkets, instead.

Season:  All year

Type:   Big dishesPasta

Difficulty:  Intermediate

Serves:  60 filled ravioli to serve 6 at home or 20 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  eggs, sage

Recipe source: Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids

Equipment

  • chopping board & non-slip mat
  • knives – 1 small, 1 large
  • tea towel
  • bowls – 1 small, 2 medium
  • scales
  • grater
  • metric measuring spoons
  • wooden spoon teaspoon
  • kitchen paper
  • 4 ovenproof dishes
  • 2 large trays
  • very large saucepan
  • pastry brush
  • slotted spoon
  • frying pan
  • heatproof mat
Ingredients

Burnt sage butter

  • 30 sage leaves
  • 225 g butter

 

What to do

  • Set out your equipment and ingredients.
  • Use 1 tablespoon of butter and a bit of kitchen paper to grease the ovenproof dish.  Heat the oven to 120oC and place the dish in the oven to keep warm.
  • Scatter the 2 trays with semolina flour.
  • Fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil.

Roll the pasta

  • Divide the dough into four equal parts (wrap up what you don’t use to keep it from drying out).
  • Clear a large space on the workbench alongside the pasta machine.  All surfaces must be clean and dry.  Press the dough into a rectangle about 8 cm wide.
  • Set the rollers on the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through.  The dough will probably look quite ragged at this stage.  Fold in tint 3, turn it 90 degrees and roll it through again.   Repeat this another 3 times.
  • Go to the next-thickest setting and pass the dough through 2 – 3 times.
  • Continue in this manner (changing the settings and passing the dough through) until the dough has passed through the second-thinnest setting.
  • Clean the pasta machine by brushing it with a dry, wide pastry brush.  Never wash the machine.

Make the ravioli

  • Cut the pasta sheets in half lengthways, so you should end up with two long strips that are about 7 – 8 cm wide.  Brush the strips lightly with the eggwhite (you probably won’t need all the eggwhite).
  • Place teaspoonfuls of the filling at regular intervals along one side of each strip of the pasta dough.  Fold the pasta strip to enclose the filling.  Press firmly between the mounds of filling to get rid of trapped air.  Using a small knife, cut between each filled shape to separate the ravioli.
  • Place the completed shapes on the semolina-dusted trays and continue until all are made.
  • Drop a batch of the filled pasta shapes into the boiling water (not too many at once) and cook for 6 minutes.  Lift the ravioli from the water with the slotted spoon and allow to drain for a moment.  Slip the cooked shapes into the buttered ovenproof dish, then return the dish to the oven.  Continue with the next batch until all the filled shapes have been cooked.

Make the sage butter and serve immediately

  • Spread the sage leaves in the non-stick frying pan and add the butter.  Fry until the leaves are crisp and the butter has become a medium brown colour.  Remove the ovenproof dish from the oven and spoon the sage leaves and butter over the cooked pasta in the dish and add some ground pepper.
  • Place the heatproof mat on the table and serve the pasta in its ovenproof dish.
Interesting techniques used in this recipe are:

  • Kneading dough
  • Rolling pasta
  • Making filled pasta

 

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